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Explain and evaluate both the limits placed on Commonwealth power under the Constitution and the extension of that power through international law and elements of the Constitution In the year 2001 The Australian nation will celebrate the reaching of a significant milestone one hundred years of government under our present constitution As the anniversary approaches it is important for all Australians to reflect on the present arrangements and consider whether the limits placed on the Commonwealth government are going to restrict Australias ability to transform with the new millennium Will the extension of the Federal governments power affect the stability of one hundred years of Australian government In the nineteenth century Australia was made up of different British colonies with each colony able to make laws on its own behalf As the end of the nineteenth century approached the Australian colonies started to recognise the advantages of having a federal council that could impose uniform systems of defence immigration banking and currency However the colonies were concerned about giving up too much power in particular the small less populated colonies did not want the more populated states to be in complete control This problem was solved with the suggestion that each state have the same number of representatives in the upper house and on 1st of January 1900 the Commonwealth of Australia came into existence The rationale behind federating was to achieve national unity and regional diversity hence it was essential to have a division between state and federal of powers Therefore the Commonwealth Parliament was only given special and limited powers under the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act These powers are listed in section 51 of the Australian Constitution and are known as the thirty nine heads of power Items mentioned in this section include trade and commerce taxation defence communications and immigration The powers not listed in section 51 are known as the residual powers and remain the
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